Reimburse the Universe
by Lisa McDonald

"Share the best of you with everyone. To do so is to reimburse the universe."

Lisa McDonald is an author who writes with a creative and caring sensibility. She imparts her books with valuable lessons that not only offer insight, but also tempt readers to look far beyond the pages. In this latest release, artful illustrations serve as a major component in highlighting an enticing story line that conveys both our individual and communal importance in the universe. Against a solid black backdrop, the opening silhouette-like image of a young boy, framing a colorful visionary landscape, reveals just how much we are uniquely a part of this vast world.

Though designed as a children's book, this work offers a powerful message for all ages. It is a story that reinforces appreciation and gratitude, paying it forward, and giving back. From an all inclusive street hockey game where children of all ethnic backgrounds and physical capabilities participate, to the welcoming atmosphere of a soup kitchen for shared meals, McDonald emphasizes a universal connection. Whether a farmer's contemplative porch front view of a quenching summer storm or the exalted bliss of a monk on a mountain top, the grand drawings from Lara Aiken and Paul Schultz take us to vistas around the globe.

The focus is positivity. From a neighborhood wall painting effort, to a group of young volunteers bringing joy to a senior care center with visiting pets, we see community projects showcasing children and adults working in harmony. On a larger scale, we witness truckloads of staples like rice, flour, and sugar being transported to impoverished countries for those in need. McDonald's emphasis is on kindness, compassion, and giving to the collective whole. This is a beautiful book with an engaging message. Clearly it represents and will stimulate an important dialogue worth sharing.

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